Minty madness of Mint
Perhaps one of the more common ingredients in supplements and modern hard feeds, and most of us will know of one very good reason...
... Horses LOVE the taste of mint. Especially spearmint as it is much sweeter than it's sister, peppermint. Often used to conceal the taste of lesser appealing flavours in supplements and hard feeds (because well, we often need a good reason to eat the nasty but healthy stuff, don't we?) but, what benefit other than this does mint offer to our horses?
Well, firstly, mint is known for it's calming properties. Hence why us humans have always made peppermint tea, to soothe and relax ourself if anxiety is nearby. It has been noted to have this effect with horses but not to the same extent
Notably, for horses, mint increases salivation which of course, lubricates the food as it's chewed and this helps digestibility A LOT! It also helps with waking up the abdominal triggers which tells the stomach to secrete the gastric juices. This whilst reducing the build up of gas in the intestines, leading to a lower risk of colics (the benefit here would be to feed this to a horse on poor quality hard feed until you can find an alternative feed, for example.)
Coming with another amazing benefit is mint is a fabulous combatant for the respiratory system! Menthol (the active ingredient) is known for fighting and removing mucus that restricts the airways, whilst acting as a pain reliever (hence it being used in many liniments and gels and in so many oral solutions too)
Not only this but it can also prevent the growth of bad bacteria, especially within the areas previously mentioned, making it a gem at riding the body of phlegm, and even tooth bacteria if taken orally.
All in all, minty madness might actually be less madness and more genius